With Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launching the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, there was a certain onus on its major rival Samsung to try to spoil the party somewhat. This is a pretty difficult thing to do when you’re dealing with the iPhone, as Apple tech unquestionably creates more buzz than any other form of consumer electronics. Not only that, but the iPhone is absolutely its flagship device.
So Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) had his work cut out to create much of an impression on Friday when the iPhone 6 launched. But they didn’t let the day pass without any effort at all. Samsung announced on September 19 that consumers would be able to pre-order its Galaxy Note 4 phablet. This was an interesting move by Samsung and once again signalled the company’s intention to go directly head-to-head with Apple.
The Galaxy Note 4 will launch on October 17, with preorders beginning on Saturday. Additionally, the Korean electronics giant outlined the price structure for this highly awaited mobile device. Thus, we already know that the 32GB Galaxy Note 4 costs $825.99 full price or $299 on-contract. That’s a pretty hefty pricetag, but Samsung is packing a hell of a lot of spec into this particular phablet.
But how does it compare to Apple’s first phablet-sized device, the iPhone 6 Plus? Let’s take a look at some of the key areas for comparison.
Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6: Hardware Setup
Firstly, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus would seem to have a significant advantage in this department, given that the new Apple handset is embracing 64-bit architecture. This differs from its Samsung competitor which will be built around a 32-bit structure.
Looking at raw numbers related to the processors and chipsets within the devices would suggest that Samsung has a serious advantage. But this isn’t necessarily the full story. Apple benefits from superior and more numerous transistors in the iPhone 6 Plus, and additionally the actual processor type contained within the iPhone 6 Plus is significantly more sophisticated than its Samsung competitor.
Nonetheless, the role data related to the Galaxy note for is impressive. The Samsung device comes equipped with the Snapdragon 805 chipset with a clocking frequency of 2.7GHz and a quad-core processor. However, the A8 chipset and M8 dual-core motion coprocessor have already impressed reviewers who have got their hands on the iPhone 6 Plus, and despite having significantly less RAM than the Galaxy Note 4, the performance of the Apple handset is exemplary.
Operating System and Software
This is possibly the most contentious area of the debate between the two devices, as many people relish the multitasking features included in the Galaxy Note 4 phablet. With the two phablets running off entirely different operating systems – Apple naturally sticking with their proprietary new iOS 8 system, while Samsung’s device is driven by a recent KitKat version of Android – aficionados of both robustly claim that their system is superior.
Perhaps it is a bit simplistic to simply assert that one is better than the other. While Galaxy Note 4 and its Android OS perhaps offer a more flexible experience, the fact that the iPhone 6 Plus is driven by hardware and software both designed by Apple continues to make using the iPhone series an extremely slick experience.
The first ever full HD display on the iPhone 6 Plus is certainly something worth waiting for. But it is also worth remembering that Samsung has its incredibly high-quality Super AMOLED panels which have been critically acclaimed for quite some time. The Korean manufacturer has certainly traded on its screen quality for some time, but the early indications with the iPhone 6 Plus are that it will be incredibly difficult for anyone other than the eagle-eyed to tell them apart in terms of resolution. Nonetheless, realistically Samsung has a slight edge in this department.
Here Apple wins hands down. All companies would love to get their hands on the Apple App Store, and the close relationship which Apple has forged with developers through events such as its World Wide Developers Conference, which is a particularly high profile industry event, has served it extremely well. Of course, there are plenty of apps with diverse functionality available for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but the Apple App Store is really yet to be equalled in the world of mobile devices.
The iPhone 6 Plus has the edge in this department given that the Galaxy Note 4 can only be expanded up to 128 GB via its micro-SD slot. Clearly Apple has given this consideration, as it is offering a standard 128 GB version of its handset.
Apple has really pulled out all the stops here in an attempt to wrest the advantage back from Samsung. The Galaxy devices have been known for consistently offering a much better battery life than the iPhone series, but this could be set to change with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Nonetheless, even though Apple has fitted the iPhone 6 Plus with a more powerful battery and power saving capabilities, the verdict of analysts is that the Galaxy Note 4 will deliver slightly more battery life per charge.
The iPhone 6 Plus once again illustrates that Apple are difficult to beat in the design department. There is little or no doubt that this will be a hugely sought after device, as pretty much every Apple product is. Samsung has devoted more attention to design recently in the Galaxy range, but still have some catching up to do to match Apple.
Apple has the big advantage of having got its product to market first, which when coupled with its massive reputation and success, will give the Galaxy Note 4 a huge headstart to contend with. On the face of it, the Galaxy Note 4 is a little more powerful than the iPhone 6 Plus, but Apple products traditionally deliver an incredibly slick user experience. For many users this coupled with its outstanding software support will make the iPhone 6 Plus an unmissable experience, while a certain type of consumer will prefer the freedom and beefier technology packed into the Galaxy Note 4.